Pep Guardiola has been dealt a blow at Manchester City as Aymeric Laporte has picked up an injury on international duty with Spain.
The 27-year-old centre-back, who has enjoyed a fine start to the season with the Citizens, was forced off at half-time with an adductor injury in Spain’s 4-0 win against Georgia at the weekend, which will put him in doubt for City’s trip to face Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.
The former Athletic Bilbao man has impressed in each of City’s last two games, which resulted in 5-0 victories against Norwich City and Arsenal, with his 7.61 average rating from WhoScored ranking him as the fifth-best performer in Guardiola’s side so far this season.
There were some suggestions that Laporte could leave during the summer transfer window after he spent much of last season playing second fiddle to Ruben Dias and John Stones, who formed a superb partnership in the heart of City’s defence.
However, he remained at the Etihad and his impressive performances thus far have reinforced his immense quality, and he is sure to play a regular part in Guardiola’s side throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
The Spanish manager certainly rates Laporte highly, as he sang his praises following the game against Norwich, saying:
“Aymeric Laporte is the best left-footed centre-back for build-up in the world.”
Unfortunately for Laporte, with Stones surely now close to full fitness, it seems likely that he will resume his partnership with Dias at the back for City’s game at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, and it may be tough for the Spaniard to re-establish his place in the starting lineup following his recovery from injury.
Therefore, it is undoubtedly a blow that the £40.5m-rated man could be set for a spell on the sidelines and City fans will be gutted that he has picked up this injury after such a solid start to the season.
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